Sunday, February 17, 2013

Myers and Benson want more rape

Once upon a time Eve Ensler wrote a sort-of-poem:

I am over rape. 
I am over people not understanding that rape is not a joke and I am over being told I don't have a sense of humor, and women don't have a sense of humor, when most women I know (and I know a lot) are really fucking funny. We just don't think that uninvited penises up our anus, or our vagina is a laugh riot. 
I am over Facebook taking weeks to take down rape pages. 
I am over the hundreds of thousands of women in Congo still waiting for the rapes to end and the rapists to be held accountable.

English is a funny language. As you can see, Ensler does not mean "over" in the sense that she is indifferent about rape.

For someone that has read more than a single line of the piece, it is obvious over is meant in the sense that one has absolutely lost all patience for the object.

For example, "I am over chocolate cake" means the speaker simply cannot stomach it any longer.

Fast forward a bit, Ben Radford writes an article for CFI titled "Over it"

The piece is written in a similar manner:

I am over rape.
I join mothers, sisters, fathers, brothers, and lovers in condemning rape and all manner of violence against women.
I am over the hundreds of thousands of women in Congo and elsewhere around the world still waiting for the rapes to end and the rapists to be held accountable.
I am over the 100 innocent women attacked, disfigured, and killed by their husbands and boyfriends in Pakistan each year in acid attacks.  
I am over the hypocrisy of a prominent feminist anti-rape activist like Eve Ensler writing a play describing "a good rape." There is no such thing as "a good rape." All rape is bad. It is never deserved, nor asked for, nor good; it is always bad and wrong. Always. 
I am over "don't drop the soap" comments, and people who think that anyone raped in prison deserves it as part of their punishment.  
I am over the fact that Native American women face far higher rates of sexual abuse than White women, yet receive little concern or attention-including from rape advocacy groups. 
I am over the wanton slinging of labels like "misogynist" and "sexist" and "sister hater" and "gender traitor" and "rape apologist" to people who dare criticize feminists. Plenty of feminists disagree with each other.
I am over blaming TV, movies, magazines, and video games for real-life violence-including violence against women. Just as sexy clothes do not cause rape, violent and sexual images do not cause rape; rapists cause rape.
I am over the simplistic idea that women are raped by heteronormative, hegemonic patriarchies instead of by criminals.
I am over people mistaking dancing for social justice or activism; real change comes from funding social services for victims of rape and domestic violence, family services, and so on.

Radford accepts the same premise that Ensler puts forward, the fact that rape is bad.
Radford however continues on to criticize Ensler and online slactivism.
Who would this enrage?
Online slactivists like Ophelia Benson and PZ Myers.
Ophelia writes an article titled "He is over the". (What's the deal with this title anyways?)
Regarding the "wanton slinging" of feminist mud, Ophelia replies:
What “wanton slinging”? And notice the list, cited as if they’re all on a level. Notice that the last three are nouns for people but the first two can be adjectives as well as nouns. Notice that calling a claim or a remark “sexist” is not the same thing as calling the person who makes the remark a sexist. Notice the generality; notice that we can’t be sure what people he has in mind; notice the sloppy lazy angry…well, wanton slinging.
Benson here is doing a shameless dodge, as she is a relentless mudslinger. She often stops short of calling specific people "misogynists", but it is readily apparent she's out to destroy reputations with baseless accusations and guilty-by-association descriptions of reality.
Here it seems good to remind people that PZ has compared his critics to mass murders.
As for Radford's statement regarding video games, Ophelia responds:
Wo, I did not know that. I totally thought violent images could actually rape people. I’ve been so confused.
This is skillful backpedaling from a person that thinks Twitter posts leads to acid attacks.

It is self-serving remembering of events to state "But hey, I never said anything about video games!" when one's blog blasts Anne of Green Gables for being too sexy.

PZ picks up the scent of a debate he can distort, and Free Thought Blogs Reading Comprehension Team creates an article titled:

"You don’t get to be “over” rape"

The implication here, given the context created by Eve Ensler, is that PZ thinks you must always be able to stomach more rape.

It's questionable that he even bothered to read what Ensler or Radford wrote. Myers has been known to entirely disregard a central argument and be carried away by the peanut gallery coverage - in this case, the person in the peanut gallery that brought all this to his attention is Ophelia Benson.

In his criticism of Radford, PZ writes that he is also critical of One Billion Rising for reasons that Natalie Gyte states so well:
The primary problem with One Billion Rising is its refusal to name the root cause of women's inequality; its outright refusal to point the finger at a patriarchal system which cultivates masculinity and which uses the control and subjugation of women's bodies as an outlet for that machoism.
PZ then continues to accept Radford's statement that the statistic citing one billion female victims of violence aren't necessarily victims of rape, domestic abuse or even gendered violence.

In this case, PZ brands this adherence to the facts "hyperskepticism".

PZ continues:
One billion women have been victims of “homicide, intimate partner abuse, psychological abuse, dating violence, same-sex violence, elder abuse, sexual assault, date rape, acquaintance rape, marital rape, stranger rape and economic abuse,” confirmed by statistics that Radford cites. One billion women. Radford’s hyperskepticism is so fierce that he objects to Ensler using 3 general words — raped, beaten, violated — instead of 26 more specific words, but is willing to overlook the horrific truth that she is correct and one billion women will suffer for their sex in their lifetime.
PZ cites statistics almost as well as he crafted the title to his article.

PZ ignores several issues:
  • The data does not show that the violence happens simply because they are women
  • The data does not show that the perpetrators are entirely male
  • The data does not even try to make comparisons to males
  • Just what is "economic abuse"?
The aggregate seems to lump in pay equity issues with violent rape and homicide.

In this dataset, "psychological abuse" could be a Tweet in Ophelia Benson's general direction, and her victimhood would be as solid as if the event were a murder or forced sex in the Congo.

In this scenario, PZ Myers is taking the Antoine Dodson approach to rape statistics - it's happening to everyone, all the time, and if you have any doubt about that then you must be a wife beater.

You can never be "over" rape. You must be always ready for some more!

1 comment:

  1. Nothing pisses me off more than comparing facebook pages to RAPE IN THE CONGO

    Are you FUCKING kidding me?